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Inefficient employment decisions, entry costs, and the cost of fluctuations

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  • Den Haan, Wouter
  • Sedlacek, Petr

Abstract

Fluctuations in firms' revenues reduce firms' viability and are costly from a social welfare point of view even when agents are risk neutral if (i) the decision to continue operating a firm is not efficient at the margin so that fluctuations shorten firms' life expectancy (because they increase the chance revenue levels are such that discontinuation is unavoidable) and (ii) the shortening of the life expectancy reduces entry. Welfare consequences are large, even for moderate fluctuations: Implied estimates for the per period costs of business cycles can easily be equal to several percentage points of GDP. These estimates are based on a direct measurement of cyclical changes in the value added generated by workers that recently were not employed. This extensive margin measure of the cyclical change in output is of independent interest.

Suggested Citation

  • Den Haan, Wouter & Sedlacek, Petr, 2009. "Inefficient employment decisions, entry costs, and the cost of fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 7468, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7468
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. tom krebs, 2004. "welfare cost of business cycles when markets are incomplete," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 283, Econometric Society.
    2. Craig Burnside & Alexandra Tabova, 2009. "Risk, Volatility, and the Global Cross-Section of Growth Rates," NBER Working Papers 15225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Tom Krebs, 2007. "Job Displacement Risk and the Cost of Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 664-686, June.
    4. Martin, Philippe & Ann Rogers, Carol, 2000. "Long-term growth and short-term economic instability," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 359-381, February.
    5. Larry E. Jones & Rodolfo E. Manuelli & Ennio Stacchetti, 1999. "Technology (and Policy) Shocks in Models of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 7063, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Per Krusell & Toshihiko Mukoyama & Aysegul Sahin & Anthony A. Smith, Jr., 2009. "Revisiting the Welfare Effects of Eliminating Business Cycles," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 393-402, July.
    7. Morten O. Ravn & Harald Uhlig, 2002. "On adjusting the Hodrick-Prescott filter for the frequency of observations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 371-375.
    8. Anne Epaulard & Aude Pommeret, 2003. "Recursive Utility, Endogenous Growth, and the Welfare Cost of Volatility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(3), pages 672-684, July.
    9. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1991. "Technology Commitment and the Cost of Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 3755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Florin O. Bilbiie & Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2012. "Endogenous Entry, Product Variety, and Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 304-345.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    business cycles; frictions;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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